With the holidays in full swing, you might be looking for something else to do besides shopping. Luckily, we have some suggestions, just for you! Don’t miss this annual tradition, celebrate the origins of Saint Nicholas, or check out this one-of-a-kind playroom (complete with parents’ lounge). Curious about the rest of our top picks? Keep scrolling to read more.

Photo: Liz West via Flickr


The Playroom From Fatherly
The Playroom features a jam-packed activity schedule filled with musical performances, storytime and arts & crafts that’ll entertain parents and kids alike. And on Sunday, stop by for a free picture with Santa! There is additionally a Parents Lounge, changing and feeding rooms, and stroller parking is available. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.

This holiday tradition in the heart of Lower Manhattan features a canopy of colorful lights emanating from hundreds of suspended lanterns. This interactive exhibit features three Wishing Stations located on the ground will allow visitors to send a touch-activated wish to the canopy of lanterns above, activating a magical display of lights and colors. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.


Holiday Musical Wilderness
Co-founders Sara Leila Sherman (piano) and Hilary Castle (violin) are thrilled to have a program featuring ANIMALS and holiday favorites! Each piece will have an animal reference from Butterflies in Chopin to a barn dance in Barber. Beyond the classics there will be some sing-along favorites and some holiday tunes. Sat. Event Details.

Celestial Voices
Experience a sublime concert presentation as the NCC performs an exquisite collection of holiday music, featuring some of the most beautiful melodies ever written. In addition to seasonal favorites, “America’s most exciting children’s chorus” will sing one of its signature works, A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten. Sat. Event Details.


Holiday Candlelight Tours
Step into the holiday season of 1830 with an intimate and magical tour of the museum by candlelight. Enjoy popular refreshments, confections of the time, and classical and holiday music performed by harpist Sarah Loveland Gill on Friday and PACC Recorder Consort on Saturday. Fri.-Sat. Event Details.


Dances Patrelle Presents The Yorkville Nutcracker
This year marks the 23rd anniversary of The Yorkville Nutcracker, set in 1895, which includes lavish sets and costumes and takes the audience on a tour through Olde New York’s most beloved landmarks, including a holiday party at Gracie Mansion, dancing at the Crystal Palace in the New York Botanical Garden, and skating in Central Park. Fri.-Sun. Event Details.


Jingle All the Way
Enjoy photos with Santa and Buddy the Elf, arts and crafts, bounce house, kiddy tattoos and more! Sat. Event Details.

Winter Jam-Brr-eee 2018
Come to the annual Winter Jam-Brr-ee and enjoy music by Suzi Shelton, arts & crafts, face painting, bouncy house and more. Photographer Erin Silber will be there to take holiday portraits for $25 (this includes 1 high resolution file). And there’s a rumor that Santa will be there! Sun. Event Details.


Holiday Historic House Tour
Celebrate the holiday season and learn about the unique histories in this tour of seven historic sites in Flushing and Corona. Each site will offer special activities and refreshments. A mini bus will be available to take visitors to selected historic houses. Sun. Event Details.


Celebrate Saint Nicholas
Enjoy a family-friendly celebration of Saint Nicholas with the Van Cortlandt family. Long before Saint Nicholas became associated with Christmas, his feast day was a holiday for giving presents and honoring children. Head to Van Cortlandt House Museum to learn more about the history of Saint Nicholas through a special eye-spy tour of the house, stories, craft projects, games, and hot chocolate around a campfire (weather permitting). Sat. Event Details.

Staten Island

ConEd STEM Family Day
Observe the laser cutter in action! In this workshop you will assemble your own Christmas tree ornament and decorate it. Sat. Event Details.

Worth the Drive:

27th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland
Get your whole family in the Christmas spirit by visiting the Frelinghuysen Arboretum’s 27th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland display. Created by local families, scout troops, schools, and individuals, these edible creations will amaze and delight even the moodiest of teenagers and the grumpiest of grandpas. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite creation! Fri.-Sun. Event Details.


–Jesseca Stenson